Ra SHAWN-DA-PROFESSOR

Ra SHAWN-DA-PROFESSOR

Thursday, March 26, 2009

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE SUPREME VOCALIST-DIANA ROSS


Another Supreme is blessed to be celebrating her 65th birthday. Diana Ross (Since it's her birthday and she finally acknowledged all of the Supremes including my idol Mary) I will honor her by refering her by her stage name.
Whether you like her as a person or not, many people (especially Gays) admire and love her for her sequenced gowns, voice, stage presence and hair (she made wearing a weave popular). Can't you believe that this lady was a tomboy who used to play sports and swim? Now she is an icon that everybody patterns themselves after her including Janet Jackson and RuPaul who appeared in the former Supremes' lead singer's video for her rendition of Gloria Gaynor's 1979 hit "I Will Survive."
The first time I came aware of Diana was in day care, where my mother and some of the teachers would play her now-classic hit "Love Hangover" and I would see myself dancing to the song. A few years later, me and my family saw "The Wiz" and we enjoyed it, but we had always tried to get tickets to see her live, but the tickets were sold out. In November 1979, my mother's boss at the time called to see if I got home, and when I spoke to her, she told me to do my homework because my mother had a suprise for me. I wondered what it was. When she came home, I saw her on the phone and when I went into her room, she showed me the tickets for Diana's concert at Radio City Music Hall and I was excited, though I fell asleep.
"Shawn. Don't you wanna see Diana Ross?" she asked.
I jumped up and said yes. We left and met my great-grandmother at the next station before meeting with my grandmother, aunt and cousin at Radio City Music Hall, and I was excited and anxious to see what was gonna happen. Diana came out wearing a silver ground and fur singing a Jazz song (thought I didn't know at the time) and though she's known for changing costumes, she kept the same gown on that night. When she sang "The Boss" the crowd was clapping and applauding and I couldn't wait to tell my teacher the next day and the class was excited.
As I'm listening to her classic voice, I began to think about the impact she has on people

1. Detertmination-Her late father didn't want her to pursue a career in show business. He would have preferred for her to enroll in college and get a degree like her sister Barbra, who's a doctor. Though she loved her father, and felt somewhat distant from him, she decided to pursue her a career in music by honing her craft by singing to Gospel, Jazz and Broadway tunes before linking up with her friends Florence Ballard and Mary Wilson (another Icon on mine) and join their group The Suprmes.

2. Making sure things are well-Though many didn't like her for poking her eyes out, she used that to her advantage to make people notice her, and once she learned that it was becoming a hit with fans, the label decided to let her do that move.

3. Having class. Most of the Motown artists had to attend artist development and charm school, where Maxine Powell coached the ladies on how to conduct themselves like ladies and to leave their ghetto attitude at the door. When she received her Lifetime acheivement award at the BET awards, she let the kids know that you don't have to bump and grind and use the "F" word to maintain longeviity, and the camera pointed at Beyonce who nodded. She's known for having moments but now she's mellowing out.

4. Taking control of your life. Most aries are known for being assertive, determined and secluded, Diana's declaration of independence kept the Civils and Women's right movement going when she decided to take control of her career and finances. In 1979 she re-teamed with singing-songwriting-producing husband & wife duo Nick Ashford & Valerie Simpson, who wrote and produced her classic album "The Boss" which gained went gold and gained spins on the radio and in the clubs. A year later, she recruited Bernard Edwards and Nile Rogers of Chic to produce her classic album "Diana" which went multi-platnium, scored two classics "Upside Down" and "I'm Coming Out" which is still getting spins in clubs and has been sampled by Salt-N-Pepa, M.C. Lyte & Missy Elliot and The Notoroius BIG. When she met with the producers, she told them that she didn't her album to sound like a Los Angeles album. She wanted to have a New York vibe and she got more than that; she got a hit album. When she heard the playback, she noticed that the producers had her voice low, and when they refused to remix it, she decided to remix the album, and when Berry Gordy refused to give her and Russ Tilman credit, she decided to leave Motown and sign with RCA, who gave her the creative independence that she deserved, and it paid off. Her first self-produced album "Why Does Fools Fall In Love" went platnium and gained positve reviews as well as classic hits including the title track, "Mirror Mirror" and "Work That Body" which she co-wrote and became the fitness theme song of 1982. She showed the industry that she was able to succeed with out her mentor and baby father Berry Gordy, who was shocked at her decision to leave the label.

How has her songs make an impact on my life.

Learning to love myself. 11 years ago, I was suffering from depression, which I hid from many people, brought on by struggling with my being myself and being forced to be a person that I wasn't, and one day, the editor of the school publication I was writing for at that time, loaned me the Motown 40 CD set for me to review, and when I heard Diana's single "When You Tell Me That You Love Me," I fell in love with that song, and I would constant listen to that song in my grandmother's tape recorder I used to tape my school lectures on, and that song brought me comfort when I was feeling down and when I was pissed at certain morons who did me wrong. The lyrics are so touching and warm, that I would always listen to the last part of the song before I went to bed and it helped me see that God love is universal.

Moving on to something better. I posted a blog about how a certain lady tried talk me into staying at my former publication, despite me telling how 5 times how I was mistreated, and being prevented from growing professionally. When she said that she wasn't speaking to me as a child of God, I didn't speak to that heifer for a year, and though I was a little nervous, Diana's single "It's My Turn" helped forged ahead, and though I didn't win the election to become the publication's Arts Editor, I got praise and respect for my work, to the point where I was asked to cover many events including talent shows and listening parties.

Having fun. Though I walk with a cane, I manage to have fun and the songs I think of are "Work That Body" and "Take Me Higher" because there are times when I have fun, I don't care what people think about me dancing with my cane. I shouldn't be limited to have fun.

I wanted to wish Diana Ross a birthday and share my gratidue to her and her music.
I would love for her, Mary and Cindy to have a reunion tour because we are entiled to one.


SONGS INSPIRED FOR THIS POST

THE BOSS ALBUM
PEFORMED BY DIANA ROSS
WRITTEN AND PRODUCED BY NICK ASHFORD & VALERIE SIMPSON
1979 MOTOWN RECORDS

UPSIDE DOWN & I'M COMING OUT
PEFORMED BY DIANA ROSS
WRITTEN AND PRODUCED BY BERNARD EDWARDS & NILE ROGERS FOR THE CHIC ORGANIZATION
1980 MOTOWN RECORDS

WHY DO FOOLS FALL IN LOVE
PERFORMED BY DIANA ROSS
PRODUCED BY DIANA ROSS FOR DIANA ROSS PRODUCTIONS
1981 RCA RECORDS

WORK THAT BODY
WRITTEN BY DIANA ROSS & RAY CHEW
PRODUCED BY DIANA ROSS FOR DIANA ROSS PRODUCTIONS
1981 RCA RECORDS SINGLE WAS RELEASED IN 1982

WHEN YOU TELL ME THAT YOU LOVE ME
PEFORMED BY DIANA ROSS
1991 MOTOWN RECORDS

2 comments:

RocaFella07 said...

OMG!!! She cant be 65!...She looks damn good!

;-)

SHAWNDASUPREMEWRITER said...

She is.